Former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker of New Zealand stopped Alex Leapai of Australia in the 10th round of a scheduled 12-round non-title bout at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center on Saturday night.
Referee Ricky Gonzalez stopped the fight after two minutes and 18 seconds of the 10th after Parker drilled Leapai with a right hand that forced Leapai to stumble backward briefly.
“I haven’t been in the ring in half a year, and we got more rounds than I expected. But damn, he has a hard head. But I am very excited about my deal with Matchroom and I look forward to putting on many more good performances in the future. When I started landing punches and he wouldn’t go down, I knew this was going to be tough. Thanks to my team, New Zealand, Australia, UK fans. I had to be patient and pick my shots to get the stoppage,” Parker said.
“Right now, I want to take a break. Then I will sit down with my team and Eddie. I want to take any fight that comes my way and I really want to stay busy.”
Parker — whose record now reads 26-2, with 20 knockouts — pressured Leapai in the early rounds, attacking him with several hard right uppercuts. Midway through the fight, Parker resorted to boxing, staying on the outside and landing quick combinations.
In 2016, Parker won the vacant WBO title with a decision against Andy Ruiz, who stunned Anthony Joshua last month to win the WBO, IBF, IBO and WBA titles. Parker lost to Joshua on March 31 last year.
“I would fight Andy Ruiz, I know that he thinks he won that fight. Big ups to him for winning his fight against AJ but if he wanted to settle his score, I’d do it,”
Leapai, a former title challenger, dropped to 31-7-4, with 25 knockouts.